Inner city ed1On 19 June SERI made a submission to the State Attorney in response to his call for civil society organisations to make written and oral submissions concerning the challenges faced by those in Rental Housing Schemes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown.

SERI’s submission advocates for an appropriate response for tenants in the inner city of Johannesburg, raises concerns with the cancellation of lease agreements due to rental arrears and addresses the on-going unlawful evictions or threats of evictions faced by tenants during lockdown. The submission further engages with appropriate interventions by the South African Police Services, the Rental Housing Tribunal and the municipality.

In conclusion, SERI proposes the following pragmatic solutions:

  • The development of Norms and Standards for Rental Housing.
  • A prohibition on the cancellation of leases for non-payment of rental that occurred during the lockdown.
  • Enlisting the SAPS to enforce the moratorium on evictions and the unlawful disconnection of services.
  • The development of support schemes for small scale landlords including rebates on municipal charges.
  • The establishment of Rental Housing Tribunals in all the provinces and the assignment of additional human resources to ensure efficient adjudication of lockout and service disconnection disputes. 
  • The expropriation of abandoned and unused inner-city buildings for use as temporary emergency accommodation and affordable rental by the City of Johannesburg. 

Read the full submission here